Dark Matter Distribution Poster


Dark matter is a form of matter thought to account for approximately 85% of the matter in the universe and about a quarter of its total energy density. Most dark matter is thought to be non-baryonic in nature; it may be composed of some as-yet undiscovered subatomic particles. [a] Its presence is implied in a variety of astrophysical observations, including gravitational effects which cannot be explained by accepted theories of gravity unless more matter is present than can be seen. For this reason, most experts think that dark matter is abundant in the universe and that it has had a strong influence on its structure and evolution. Dark matter is called dark because it does not appear to interact with observable electromagnetic radiation, such as light, and so it is undetectable by existing astronomical instruments. Primary evidence for dark matter comes from calculations showing that many galaxies would fly apart, or that they would not have formed or would not move as they do, if they did not contain a large amount of unseen matter. Other lines of evidence include observations in gravitational lensing and in the cosmic microwave background, along with astronomical observations of the observable universe's current structure, the formation and evolution of galaxies, mass location during galactic collisions, and the motion of galaxies within galaxy clusters. In the standard Lambda-CDM model of cosmology, the total mass–energy of the universe contains 5% ordinary matter and energy, 27% dark matter and 68% of an unknown form of energy known as dark energy. Thus, dark matter constitutes 85%[b] of total mass, while dark energy plus dark matter constitute 95% of total mass–energy content.



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